The Dilemma of Democratic Consolidation in the Philippines: The Contested Role of Civic Organizations in Electoral Governance
AbstractElectoral governance that secures the implementation of free and fair elections has been largely sustained by nonpartisan civic organizations. However, in recent years, the electoral integrity that they have eagerly protected has been increasingly questioned. Given such circumstances, their activities need to be examined in detail in terms of democratic consolidation. By analyzing the major activities of organizations such as NAMFREL, PPCRV, and NASSA, this article argues that such organizations have contributed to improving electoral governance while opening themselves at the same time to charges of partisanship and advancing their own political agenda. Nonetheless, their activities will continue to be indispensable because the COMELEC alone cannot ensure free and fair elections. This is one problem of democratic consolidation faced by the Philippines.